Recap: The NORDIC EV Summit Oslo 2021
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Michael Brecht at the 2021 Nordic EV Summit in Oslo


Long Distance Travel in an EV Works
Firstly, I arrived by electric car from Bavaria and this trip has proven that long distance travel is no longer a problem. We traveled from the Bavarian Alps to the Norwegian Capital for about 1,750 kilometers in my EV. Charging on the long haul is easy! If we still face problems with charging solutions these days, for me they are more imminent in urban spaces and in the countryside. I have written a separate post on my experiences on my way up to Oslo, which you can read here.

Sustainable Battery Production
This year’s EV Summit was focusing on sustainable battery production in the Nordic region. My key take-away from the panels and speeches was that the Nordic countries have realized that battery cell manufacturing will not be solved in isolation. Norway itself has access to green power and is therefore capable of manufacturing battery cells with a very small carbon footprint. Hence Norway will have battery producers that will produce millions of batteries as much as seeing services evolve around this topic. There are currently four different battery cell factories being planned and factories for battery recycling being built in Southern Norway, jointly with partners from Sweden. The Nordics are focusing on the whole value chain when it comes to battery production.

Make Charging Accessible for Everyone
The EV industry needs to deliver charging accessibility for everyone. I was hosting a panel on this topic and it became clear that we need to improve on the charging experience dramatically – why: with electric cars becoming a mass phenomenon and no longer a niche product for early adopters, we need adequate charging infrastructure. Vast networks of publicly accessible chargers will need to be built and put into operation in a short time. And we need to make charging available to everyone: think about elderly people, drivers of EVs in wheelchairs – all these groups need to be able to easily charge their cars. Even in Norway, charging needs to improve as the country needs to focus from technology to delivering a customer experience.

“Charging is not perfect in Norway, it needs work”, says Erik Lorentzen from the NORDIC EV Association. “Let’s continue as an industry to make life easier for the customers.”

“Charging is not perfect in Norway, it needs work. Let’s continue as an industry to make life easier for the customers"
Erik Lorentzen, the NORDIC EV Association

EV Adoption in Norway is More Than Just Cars
And finally let me share my conviction, that Norway really is the leading country when it comes to EV adoption. With 450,000 electric cars on the road today, 63% share of electric vehicles sold in Norway in 2021 and with an EV Association with more than 100,000 members, Norway is clearly at the forefront. But Norway can do more than cars: the electrification of road and sea transport is well underway. I learned how Norway is focusing its actions on electrifying aviation for inland flights as much as European flights. The speed of the transition to zero and low emission aviation in Norway is breathtaking, I sensed an amazing entrepreneurial spirit in this segment.

My Conclusion
Now that I am on my way back to Munich, I take with me a sense of urgency for other countries to follow the Nordics approach. I have met amazing entrepreneurs at the Summit and I have experienced the EV adoption in the city of Oslo myself first hand. My aim is to use these experiences while working for MOTION and continue to report about the next steps of making sustainable mobility solutions happen.

Let’s all accept the challenges of such an enormous transformation, but let us also not lose time in endless discussions of what is necessary. The Norwegian way shows that a small country can take its own destiny in its hands, make things happen and become a role model for other countries in the world. This is perhaps the most important lesson learned on this trip.

Photos courtesy of Michael Brecht.